IUCN is pleased to hear that second generation biofuels is being sold at a Shell service station in Canada as part of a month-long demonstration.
This marks a major first step in advanced biofuels markets as biofuels produced from feedstocks such as agricultural waste, grasses and algae are more efficient and generally more sustainable than biofuels produced from food crops such as sugar cane, palm oil and rape seed.
That said, sustainability issues still need to be addressed with second generation biofuels. For instance, some of the feedstocks being developed have qualities which make them more likely to pose risks of becoming invasive. Additionally, fundamental questions remain in terms of land use and water use remain relevant and important regardless of whether they are produced with first or second generation technologies.
IUCN is working on a number of initiatives, including some with Shell, to understand how such sustainability issues can be addressed through the biofuels value chain. For more information go to www.iucn.org/energy.